How they got here
The dogpile, the celebration, the over-capacity home crowd. It almost didn't happen. Rewind two weeks ago to the NJCAA Region II Tournament.
Down to its final two outs, needing to force an if necessary game against a red-hot Redlands team on a Cinderella run, NOC Enid found an unlikely hero in Clay Lockett.
Entering as a pinch-hitter with the bases loaded, Lockett had only recorded seven hits on the entire season. That didn't stop the sophomore from launching a ball to deep left field for a walk-off grand slam.
The Jets went on to win the if necessary game to clinch their return trip to the DII World Series, making it out on the right side of a fine line between staying home and lifting the national championship trophy.
Title game recap
Mesa got on the board first via a Luke Patty double in the bottom of the third.
NOC-Enid quickly responded: EJ Taylor hit his third home run in two days with a solo shot to center field. Three batters later, an Alec Buonasera single drove in a run. Brendon Woelfle would shortly bring in Buonasera to give the Jets a 3-2 lead.
Enid tacked on another run in the top of the seventh before Mesa's Brian So hit a two-run home run to tie the game.
Dylan Caplinger proved to be the home run hero, crushing a ball in the top of the ninth to give the Jets the lead for good.
Northeast came to Enid as the only first-time participant at the 2019 NJCAA DII World Series.
Don't feel too bad for them, though. The Hawks are in just their second year of a baseball program.
After winning its debut opening round game on Sunday, Northeast squared off with Madison the next day.
The two teams finished the game with a tournament record of 35 combined runs (Madison won, 21-14).
Drew Smith drove in nine RBI on the game for the Hawks, including seven in the fifth inning alone – both individual tournament records.